Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tahoe Here We Come

Alright, so we haven't been very good with the blogging lately. We promise we'll do more posts while we are in Tahoe. The only difference is that we will only be able to use the blog app on our phones so the posts will be much shorter.

We've reached a number of ride milestones since our last update. We've had two long distance training rides, one 70 miles and the other 75 miles. The 70 mile ride was called Kings Gap senior. This ride took us up Kings Gap twice (in cycling terms, a hill repeat.) Also, you'll notice I was able to obtain a proper training GPS, which allowed me to ditch the Google "My Tracks" app on my cell phone. The Garmin is pretty sweet. It automatically uploads the data to the web when I get home, and lets me embed the ride stats into the blog post. No more copy and paste! You can click on the "View Details" link at the bottom right to see the elevation/speed/cadence graphs.

King's Gap Sr was really uneventful in terms of mishaps (it's always a good day when it works out like that!). The weather was beautiful and our pace was fast. My mentor Cary even got a quick picture of me on the second Kings Gap descent, hence the big smile. I think Kui is the only person who actually smiles on the ascents. :-)

We started and ended the day at the South Middleton Township Park, with a total of 2,500 ft of elevation gain. I must say, riding in the Boiling Springs area is one of our favorite places in central PA to ride. There is a good mix of farms, forest, and streams to keep the day interesting and fun.

The following Saturday was our last team ride before heading to Tahoe, and we increased the total mileage to 75 miles. In other words, it's like driving from Harrisburg to Allentown. The ride started near the Renaissance Faire grounds. We rode around towns like Cornwall, E-Town, Manheim, and Mt. Gretna.

Again, we had some very good luck with our ride. The only mishap was when Shelly dropped her chain, and bent the derailleur. A quick re-seating of the chain and push on the derailleur to get it back into place and we were back on the road.

It was during this ride that Jenelle and I realized the potential benefits of chamois cream. :-) A long day in the saddle produces friction in some very sensitive parts of your body.  We hadn't taken anyone's advice on using the cream, but after this ride we wished we would have.  We went home and ordered some from Amazon right away and had it delivered here in a couple days (I love Amazon Prime)... just in time for Tahoe!  It's hard to believe that in 14 weeks we went from riding 20 miles to 75 miles... and now we are ready to tackle the 100 mile barrier in a few days!
Last night Jenelle and I starting packing up all of our cycling gear and clothing for Tahoe. We have to pack everything we need for the race in our carry on (we can't take any chances in our luggage being lost!). Since we don't know exactly what the weather will be, that means we have to pack just about all of our gear (it's also tough because when we start the morning of the ride it will probably be around 40 degress, but it will be over 70 degrees by the time we finish).  That means our carry on's are stuffed to the brim with things like our helmets, gloves, tights, arm and leg warmers, pedals, shoes, cleats, water bottles, bike tools and clothing for all of the special events leading up to the race. The bags are definitely jammed packed. I just hope that the TSA doesn't give us a hard time with all of the weird looking cycling paraphernalia.

We are flying out of BWI the night before the rest of the team with Kui and Shelly. The plan is to stay in Reno Thursday night and get some much needed rest (at altitude) before all of the activities start. We just got our intineray and the days leading up to the ride are filled with different registrations, paperwork, team meetings, and dinners.  We even have a practice ride on Saturday to help prepare us for the big day on Sunday.  From what we hear, we pass a Pearl Izumi outlet (Jenelle's favorite cycling outfitter) on our practice ride so we have to leave a little room in our carry ons for the goodies we buy when we are out there!

It really is hard to believe that in less than a week we will have accomplished what we set out to do in January of this year.  Keep checking back over the weekend - we will post as many updates on our progress as we can!

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